Homeschool Nature Program for Kids – Youth School

Youth School - Homeschool Nature Program for Kids“Thank you for all you do for our children. It is a supreme blessing to have adults who care deeply about our children and who are passing on their love for the world and people around us.”
-Dawn Behm, Parent

Wilderness Awareness Youth School is a weekly nature course for homeschooled children ages 7-14. Through creative play and exploration, Youth School participants work together in small groups, gaining nature awareness and knowledge of plants, mammals, tracking, birds, and survival.

During the year there are field trips, optional overnight experiences, and guest instructors in various topics.

Course Registration Details

Register Now When? September to June @ 9am-3pm Thursdays, Fridays
Where? Our land in the foothills of the Cascades near Duvall, WA
Who? Ages 7-14 How much? $2,490

2015-2016 School Information

Course Registration For more information about course registration or to apply, please call our office: 425-788-1301

Class Meets (choose a section)
Section 1: Thurs. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; (Ages 7-9) - also known as the "Foxes"
Section 2: Thurs. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; (Ages 10-13) - also known as the "Coyotes"
Section 3: Fri.. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; (Ages 12-14) - this is a new program for 2015-16

(*We are 15 min. from Woodinville, WA; 20 min. from Redmond, WA; 30 min. from Bellevue, WA; and 50 min. from Seattle, WA).

Classes start September 17 or 18, 2015

Enrollment is open to current students on April 1. Enrollment is open to new students on April 15.


Quarterly Payments** $2,490.00
Non-Refundable Registration Fee of $622.50 due upon registration.
3 Payments of $622.50 (August 15, November 15, February 15)
Must enroll in automatic payments
**$100.00 discount if paid in full by September 1st.

Monthly Payments    $2,590.00
10 Payments of $196.75 (August 15 -May 15)
Must enroll in automatic payments
Non-Refundable Registration Fee of $622.50 due upon registration.

If you require tuition assistance, we invite you to apply online for a scholarship. For more information, go here.

Tuition Assistance
Your homeschooled child (age 5+) can receive valuable tuition assistance that can be applied toward costs at Youth School! More details

Our Educational Philosophy

At the core of our approach to educating young people is our concept of "Passion-based learning." This is the idea that every one of us has special gifts to bring to the world, things that spark our passions in life.

Our school's fundamental goal is to awaken this spirit in our students, and to help them identify and pursue their gifts. We believe that the most effective learning happens when young people are pursuing what they love, and so truly desire to learn.

Equally important is our philosophy that the most effective learning happens when students figure things out "on their own."

In their efforts to do this, they are individually guided by mentors who strive to create experienc

Meet Your Instructors

Sol Marie Doran


Sol Marie Doran has been working with children since 1995 and has been mentoring with the Wilderness Awareness School methodology since 2002. She came to the school in 2004 from CA, where she worked with Wilderness Youth Project, ran an early childhood outdoor program, and earned a B.S. in Ecology. She is finishing her last Kamana Naturalist Training Program field pack, is a 2-time Tracking Intensive graduate, and has trained in herbalism at Ravencroft. Since 2008, she has been mentored by Kim Scanlon and Francis Weller on various arts, including modern cultural development, leadership, and emotions. She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Somatic Psychology and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Sol has been in various forms of movement training since age 2 and enjoys yoga, ethnic dance, and Crossfit.

Andy Franjevic


Andy grew up in Ohio, where he spent his summer weekends at his grandparent’s cabin by the lake.  He caught frogs and turtles with his brother and sisters and went fishing with his grandpa.  Later, he worked at a state park in Ohio for a couple of years as the Park Naturalist, where he was able to share his passion for nature with visitors and explore the park day and night.  In 2004, Andy moved to Washington to attend Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School.  Since then he has completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Evergreen State College with a project of exploring history and researching his ancestors.  He is particularly passionate about planting trees to create diverse landscapes, which makes his position as Land Steward quite enjoyable.  He also thoroughly enjoys tracking, trailing and watching birds, especially in the company of children.  He is madly in love with his wife Shari and daughter Samara.

Kim Shelton


Kim grew up as a Military ‘brat’ in both North Yorkshire England and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Minnesota where her family is from, travelling back and forth seasonally. As a child she regularly travelled from England through many European countries, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.  Despite experiencing such diversity, her true love has always been the grounded timelessness spent in the natural world; wandering the Yorkshire Moors or fishing in a canoe to the loon calls on a vast lake.

After moving back to the states she finally found her roots here in Washington with the cedars and moss as an Anake Outdoor School Student.  After graduating in 2011 she served as an Apprentice with the Youth programs, where she discovered her passion for mentoring teens.

Kim has graduated the Survival Mastery Intensive, the Wildlife Tracking Intensive with a Level III CyberTracker certification, and has completed a 21 day no supplies survival challenge in Costa Rica – filmed and aired asNaked & Afraid on the Discovery Channel. She recently took a year to write her grandfathers life story, one of her highest accomplishments.  Her loves include basketry, getting very close to wild animals, hide tanning, tracking wolves, story telling, and inspiring others to also find their passions.

Michelle Van Naerssen


Michelle loves her work!  Since 2001, she’s taught people of all ages on land and at sea, helping to deepen a sense of home in self, community and the natural world.  She brings over 5 years of experience as an 8 Shields mentor (WAS’s methodology) at schools around the country, including the Wilderness Awareness School, White Pine Programs (ME), Primitive Pursuits (NY), Vermont Wilderness School (VT), and Earth Native Wilderness School (TX).
Michelle brings compassion and respect for the many seasons of human development from her work as a birth assistant, hospice support, developing youth rites of passage and somatic therapy studies.  She has worked in the marine and building trades, and loves to make anything with her hands.

Michelle holds a degree from Wesleyan University, studying Human Ecology, and has contributed to research on wolves, eels, and an array of oceanographic sciences.  She is an Anake and ALP graduate.  She is CyberTracker Level III Track & Sign certified and has studied under many wildlife tracking experts around the country.  She is a Wilderness First Responder, and has studied plant medicine for many years.

Outside of WAS, Michelle worked with the OR-7 Wolf Expedition  ( as the Logistics, Equipment and Volunteer Coordinator; co-leads Vermont Wilderness School’s Lynx Tracking Expedition; and is learning to subsistence fish.

She enjoys lighting things on fire, tai chi, and is addicted to imitating bird calls.

Jesse Phillips

Jesse Philips

Over the last ten years Jesse Phillips has co-designed and directed a summer day camp for at-risk youth; completed an environmental writing degree with honors; run a small farm business; tutored at colleges; and played and learned with kids aged 4-60 in classrooms, gyms, gardens, on farms and in forests. Jesse came to Duvall in 2013 to complete a year at the Anake   Outdoor School and a second year in the Anake Leadership Program. He is passionate about creating well-crafted programs that empower people from all walks of life to come alive and claim their powerful, positive selves. He loves to sing, climb trees, wander the landscape, listen to birds, study plants, and play the ukulele. He also delights in sports and games of all kinds.

Charlie Serra

Charlie Sierra

Charlie Serra grew up 25 miles North of New York City, in a town called Mamaroneck, where his family and his favorite pizza still reside. He has always had a passion for the outdoors and made the small strip of woods behind his house a stomping ground. When he was fifteen he began learning and mentoring kids in nature awareness, primitive, and survival skills. In 2008, Charlie moved to Duvall to participate in  Anake Outdoor School. Upon graduation he worked at summer camps as well as yearlong programs, and has been here ever since. Charlie’s current passions are knife-making, bow making, walking with his dog, wildlife tracking, and throwing rocks at other rocks.